I've been a structural engineer for a few years. My tasks are usually design calcs/reports which are office or remote based, i.e. I am NOT a site engineer. I have recently been placed on a project with another team to oversee some works on site and I'm travelling hundreds of miles each week and spending the week alone in hotels/air bnbs etc. At first, I enjoyed the work as it enriched and complemented a lot of the design work I do, and it was beneficial for my career. However I'm now well into my 8th week on site.
I'm told last minute where I'm going next week, and I don't know when it will end. My usual routine is out the window. I'm a young woman, I don't feel safe staying in certain places on my own, I've had to deal with a surprising amount of inappropriate comments from contractors, sub contractors on all of the sites, and sometimes my suggestions are brushed off (when they're made by another member of staff, they're taken on board).
I absolutely do not envisage myself ever working on site long term - I don't mind visiting/overseeing for a week/few days, but long term this is not the role for me. I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, but I also don't see why I should just suck it up when it's not something I want to do from a career perspective and it's starting to get me down mentally as it's ruining my work-life balance. If I wanted to be a site engineer I would have applied for a job with a contractor. I've started applying for other jobs as a back-up if I don't get taken off of this project. Just as an add on - I went into this with an open mind as I do every job I'm given, as I want to learn and experience as much as I can.
Has anyone else experienced similar to this? How did it play out? How can I present this to my manager without coming across lazy/whining?
Work like this is not common at my workplace, and I know most people do not want to do it as they have families etc. I understand that sometimes you just have to get on with it and do jobs you don't want to do - especially early in your career (which I have also done in the past) but I don't want to create the impression that I will take all the jobs people don't want to do.